KM & Associates

Merrill Lynch

KM & Associates

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Providing Customized Financial Guidance

KM & Associates is a seasoned team of wealth management professionals – highly educated, extensively trained and broadly experienced in finance and investing.
Over the years, we have expanded our skill sets and professional certifications to address the ever-increasing wealth management needs and challenges you face today.
Our group is multidimensional and client-focused.

KM & Associates


Exceptional Capabilities

We have a core focus on developing diversified investment portfolios designed to help meet your objectives and support your wealth strategy. Drawing on the investment insights of Merrill Lynch and the banking convenience of Bank of America, we can also assist you with other dimensions of wealth structuring, including:
  • Intergenerational wealth transfers
  • Estate and legacy planning services
  • Retirement income strategies
  • Liquidity management and other business services
  • Concentrated stock/concentrated wealth strategies
  • Personal and commercial banking through access to Bank of America, N.A.

Client Facts

From our offices in Palm Beach, FL and Greensboro, NC we work closely with a select number of affluent individuals and families throughout the country. By design, we maintain a low client-to-advisor ratio so we have the time, energy and resources to deliver advice and guidance, tailored to you in a personalized manner.

Our individual clients include entrepreneurs and other professionals, C-suite executives, entertainers and business owners. Often, they come to us seeking strategies to preserve the wealth they've worked so hard to build. Our objective is to help them maintain their financial independence and set a strategy designed to move them toward their long-term goals.

What is important to You?

The Discovery Process

A wealth management strategy should have scope and scale. It should take into account every aspect of your financial life. During initial meetings, we will take the time necessary to develop a detailed profile of you and your financial situation. This is our chance to listen and discover what role wealth plays in your life. It's our opportunity to understand your financial vision–and your concerns.
  • What are your immediate liquidity needs from your investments? Is your current lifestyle sustainable over the long term?
  • How much investment-related income will you need to live comfortably in retirement? Are you concerned about outliving your assets?
  • What is the balance between your assets and liabilities? Is your wealth too concentrated in one stock or your own business venture?
  • Is leaving a financial legacy important to you? Do you have strategies in place for charitable giving or transferring wealth to the next generations of your family?
Answers to questions like these provide a foundation for the goals-based, individualized wealth management strategy we create together.

Understanding and Managing Risk

It's easy to forget that, in investing, risk can work for you as well as against you. We use various Merrill Lynch Wealth Management diagnostic tools to evaluate your tolerance for risk versus the projected investment returns needed to pursue your goals. We also consider liquidity needs, time horizon, lifestyle maintenance questions, and your ambitions to grow your wealth to pursue aspirational goals when we assess your risk tolerance.

It is too simplistic to calculate how much risk you can or should take in your investment portfolio, based only on your age. For example, we may implement conservative, long-term preservation-of-capital strategies for both a 65-year-old who has retirement income needs and a 40-year-old entrepreneur whose other wealth is concentrated in his or her business.

How We Think Through Your Portfolio Structure

Portfolio Structure

Diversification, asset allocation and research are the building blocks of our approach to structuring your portfolio. Generally, we recommend apportioning your investment capital across a range of asset classes that may include:
  • Equities (domestic and international | all sectors, all capitalizations)
  • Fixed income (corporates, municipals, governments, agencies | all maturities, all credits)
  • Cash and cash equivalents
  • Real estate
  • Alternative investments, such as hedge funds, commodities and private equity partnerships, when appropriate.
Before we suggest any investment, our team researches it, gauges the potential downside risk and considers how it may correlate with other assets in the portfolio. Once again, our goal is to help you structure your portfolio, balancing risk and return.

Discretionary Portfolio Management

Erick J. Ellsweig and Jay Kirkpatrick are qualified portfolio managers. You can delegate to them investment management responsibilities for your portfolios, meaning that they have discretion over certain investment decisions surrounding your investment strategy. Once Erick and Jay have confirmed your goals and life priorities, as well as identified your portfolio investment objective, time horizon, risk factor and liquidity needs, they will recommend targeted asset allocations for your portfolios to help pursue your specific investment objectives. Granting Erick and Jay this authority allows them to respond to market changes, price volatility and global events with the ability to make adjustments, if needed, to help your portfolio stay on track to pursue your goals.

To help you monitor and assess performance, we will regularly review your portfolio with you, and you will receive periodic communications including monthly statements, quarterly portfolio summary updates and annual performance reports.

*A Portfolio Manager can help clients pursue their objectives by managing on a discretionary basis his own Personalized or Defined Strategies, which may incorporate individual stocks and bonds, Merrill Lynch model portfolios, and third-party investment strategies.
*Some or all alternative investments may not be suitable for certain investors. Certain alternative investments carry significant risk and are not subject to the same regulatory oversight as mutual funds and other traditional investments.  For these reasons, access to alternative investments may be limited to investors who are designated as sophisticated, high-net-worth investors.

*Any information presented in connection with BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research is general in nature and is not intended to provide personal investment advice. The information does not take into account the specific investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any specific person who may receive it. Investors should understand that statements regarding future prospects may not be realized.  BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research is equity research produced by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and/or one or more of its non-U.S. affiliates. BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research does and seeks to do business with companies covered in its research reports. As a result, investors should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. Investors should consider this report as only a single factor in making their investment decision.

Clients Nationwide, Local Connections

We are proud of our ability to provide personalized coverage to clients across the country. We are equally proud of our connections to North Carolina.

Erick J. Ellsweig's family owned a home furnishings manufacturing business in North Carolina for four generations. As a former executive of that company, he knows numerous business leaders and is familiar with the challenges facing entrepreneurs.

The Kirkpatricks have long-established roots in Guilford County. Jay has lived in Greensboro his entire life. As the son of a forty-year Merrill Lynch veteran, he grew up in the financial services business. Passionate about the area, Jay has led the boards of two of Greensboro’s most prestigious institutions, the Greensboro Coliseum and Greensboro Historical Museum.

JJ Marus is also a native of Greensboro. Prior to pursuing a career in finance, he helped run a family-owned construction business that has served the Triad for multiple generations. Other team members have gone to college here, are raising families here and are actively involved with civic organizations throughout Greensboro proper and Guilford County.

Global Resources

Part of what KM & Associates offers to all clients is access to the remarkable resources of Merrill Lynch and Bank of America. Among these resources is BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, which in 2015 was ranked as the top research organization by Institutional Investor magazine*.

Working With Your Other Advisors

As experienced professionals, we recognize that your other trusted advisors can make valuable contributions to your overall wealth management strategy. At your direction, we will work with your CPA, tax preparers, trust and estate attorneys, or other members of your professional advisory team to see that all the elements of your wealth strategy mesh together seamlessly.
*For the sixth year running and since the recognition's inception, Bank of America Merrill Lynch was named Institutional Investor magazine's "Top Global Research Firm of 2016." This was achieved by BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research winning 242 total team positions — more than any other firm — in the 12 Institutional Investor research team surveys published this year. Institutional Investor magazine announced BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research as the Top Global Research Firm for 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 based on surveys held throughout the year. The magazine creates rankings of the top research analysts in a wide variety of specializations, drawn from the choices of portfolio managers and other investment professionals at more than 1,000 firms. For more information about this award, go to

  • We believe that professional insight and perspective, developed through diligent hard work and experience, are required to manage wealth today. Each day, we strive to commit 100% of our focus and abilities to help you pursue a more productive financial future.Erick J. Ellsweig, CIMA® Managing Director, Wealth Management Advisor

Meet the Team

Supported by the global resources of Merrill Lynch, our team is comprised of talented and experienced individuals committed to building strong client relationships based on trust and personalized service.

Erick J. Ellsweig

Erick J. Ellsweig

Wealth Management Advisor

James F Kirkpatrick

James F Kirkpatrick

Senior Financial Advisor

Joseph  Marus

Joseph Marus

Wealth Management Advisor

Kevin  Bourke

Kevin Bourke

Private Wealth Manager

Justin Moore

Justin Moore

Senior Financial Advisor

Lauren  Norris

Lauren Norris

Financial Advisor

David  Marcus

David Marcus

Investment Associate

Christopher L Kohly

Christopher L Kohly

Analyst Investments

Kimberly S Reece

Kimberly S Reece

Registered Senior Client Associate

Mary J Otterberg

Mary J Otterberg

Registered Senior Client Associate

Kristen Fisher Swindell

Kristen Fisher Swindell

Registered Senior Client Associate


Additional Resources

The following specialists do not make securities recommendations. Please contact your Financial Advisor if you have questions about how a specialist might be able to assist you.

Bradford L Cottrill

Bradford L Cottrill

Senior Wealth Management Lending Officer, NMLS #652549

Your Financial Strategy

We offer you access to the investing insights of Merrill Lynch and the banking convenience of Bank of America to help you pursue your goals. We will work to help you stay on track, regardless of what the markets are doing.

Taking care of your family and other people in your life
  • Trust & Estate Services2
  • Education Funding Strategies1
  • Insurance3
Planning for healthcare expenses now and in the future
  • Long-term Care Insurance3
  • Health Savings Account2
  • Disability Insurance3
Upsizing, downsizing, remodeling or buying a vacation home
  • Home Loans2
  • Home Equity Lines of Credit2
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Credit Cards2
Working in retirement, selling or starting a business
  • Bank of America Business Banking2
  • Exchange Funds1
  • Concentrated Stock Management1
  • Succession Planning1
Spending your free time in meaningful ways
  • Credit Cards2
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Structured Lending2
Volunteering, mentoring others and giving to charities
  • Donor-Advised Funds2
  • Private Foundations2
  • Charitable Trusts2
Using your finances to bring it all together
  • Merrill Lynch Investment Accounts1
  • Investment Advisory Accounts1
  • Alternative Investments1
  • Exchange-Traded Funds1
  • Mutual Funds1
  • Closed-end Funds1
  • Fixed Income Products1
  • Options1
  • Annuities3
  • Impact Portfolios1
  • Market-Linked Investments1
  • Securities-Based Lending2
  • Margin1
  • Home Loans2
  • Bank of America Checking and Savings Accounts2
  • Credit Cards2
  • Online Account Access1,2

1Investment products are offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.
2Banking products are offered by Bank of America, N.A.
3Insurance and annuity products offered through Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc.

Staying on Track

We understand that both your life and the financial markets can change over time. By periodically checking in to discuss changes in your life and revisiting your financial strategy, our goal is to help give you peace of mind* that you're on track to help achieve what's most important to you.

Regular reviews to help you stay on track
Regular reviews to help you stay on track

We'll meet with you periodically to review your goals and the progress you’ve made toward reaching them. We'll also discuss any adjustments needed to your financial strategy to help you stay on course.

  • Sample client review agenda
  • Sample Wealth Outlook Report
Monitoring changes in your life and to your goals
Monitoring changes in your life and to your goals

Your life and goals change. We can help you keep track of these changes so they can be reflected in your financial strategy.

Access to what you need, when you need it

MyMerrill is your destination for access to your financial information, secure communications, and a robust offering of tools and capabilities.

  • Your advisor is never more than a click away within our site or mobile apps
  • Manage account security with our customizable security capabilities such as touch id, one time passcode, and other security features
  • Access to your complete financial life is available with My Financial Picture, Merrill Lynch’s asset aggregation tool

*Peace of mind is an aspirational state of mind that clients hope to achieve. There are no guaranteed results following completion of the Goals-Based Wealth Management process because markets can fluctuate and investments can lose value. Advisors work with clients to help them understand how the goals based wealth management process can help to address their concerns, financial situation and priorities.

Let’s Have a Conversation

Helping you reach your goals starts with getting to know you personally. Through understanding what matters most to you, we can help you create a financial strategy that reflects your personality. Only then can we offer an approach that is built around your life priorities and the ongoing advice you need to help you manage fluctuations in the market and changes in your life. Let’s work together to help you achieve your goals.

Why Merrill Lynch?

As Merrill Lynch financial advisors, we will sort through the financial complexities of your life, helping you build a customized investment strategy to pursue your goals.


We put you first, every day.
Learn more about the dedicated one-on-one relationship you can have with a Merrill Lynch financial advisor.

Transcript of Video

Personalized advice from a dedicated financial advisor.

Getting to know you is our primary goal.

A comprehensive approach, built around your life’s priorities.

Drawing from our experience and the best thinking of Merrill Lynch, we will build a strategy that reflects your unique needs, priorities and financial situation.

Adjusting your plan as your life and the markets change.

We will work to help you stay on track, regardless of what the markets are doing.